Archive for February, 2007

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Site updates

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Feeling sick has me unmotivated to do much more than sitting in front of my computer, so sit in front of my computer I did tonight. I took the opportunity to install a new version of the veryplaintext theme (Thanks Scott!) onto the site and hack with it a bit. The new version is a bit cleaner, has more in the sidebar, and most importantly handles different resolutions much better.

The images now scale when someone has a small browser window, and the whole site has a minimum and maximum width to improve rendering. I also did some small tweaks to the typography that help improve the readability of the site as a whole. If you like or don’t like the new theme tweaks, or if it somehow breaks in your browser add a comment to this post to let me know.

Finally I have another shot of my antibiotics to add to the site. I’m not feeling well yet so the idea of leaving the house to go shooting is not very appealing. I really like how this one came out – it was a macro experiment with the Lensbaby 3G macro lens.

Biotic lensbaby

Biotic lensbaby” by sparktography


Monday, February 12th, 2007

POTD 2/12/07 - Biotic

My jaw infection is getting worse – I saw my dentist this morning and he immediately referred me to an oral surgeon who put me on massive antibiotics (three day supply above) and told me that if they didn’t make the swelling go away – and damn quick – that surgery to relive the pressure would be necessary.

I’m really hoping that the antibiotics kick in quickly – I really don’t relish the thought of having my jaw cut open so that pus can erupt like a volcano of death. The timing couldn’t be worse either – with my taxes due soon I really can’t afford either emergency surgery nor missing the time at work.

Ewww – go antibiotics!

Biotic” by sparktography


Saturday, February 10th, 2007

(Best viewed large)

Another creation from compositing various shots together. I’m not quite as happy with this one as I was with Future City, but I’m really starting to like this style. This one is much more of a study in lines, angles, and textures rather than the curves and lights of Future City. All of these shots were taken from various locations at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle and composited in Photoshop with some surprisingly complex masks.

Next time I go out to do a photoshoot for a composition like this I want to put some more planning into it. I also want to bring a protractor and plan out some of the angles to make blending things together easier. I also want to try to plan together some textures better to make things layer together in a more compelling way.

Being sick is not all bad – it does give me hours and hours to spend in photoshop tweaking something like this.

Cityscape” by sparktography

What a week

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

POTD 02/9/07 - The horror (or: how I got the gay)

It’s been a long crazy week in the life of Sparky. Skype ate my Wiimote, I had another root canal, and Friday was just one big long stressful day (which I can’t talk about quite yet). To top it all off I think I’m starting to get sick. My only hope is that if I relax all weekend I can be all caught back up to tackle some major hurdles in my way at work next week.

We are currently in the last mile of shipping a complex and nightmarish version of the product I’m working on. Luckily I’m pretty sure it will make it into production just fine, but it’s been a very bumpy and stressful road to this point. To make matters worse I’m already ramping up version two of the product and getting specs written – although it seems that version two is shaping up to be even more of a headache with all the moving parts we are going to need to coordinate and integrate. Yay for providing value to Microsoft’s volume licensing customers!

One good thing about this week was I did finally see Jason, Tres, and Jake on Thursday. They have been rather hermit like of late working on their respective houses, husbands, and lightboxes. Hopefully they will continue to come out of their shells occasionally and I’ll get to see more of them.

The horror” by Jason

Future city

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Future city
(Best viewed large)

The result of a few hours in Photoshop tonight playing with a number of different shots I took. I focused on trying to blend and remix them into something entirely new. At this point it’s much more of a creation than a photograph. This is actually the result of 7 separate photos with multiple parts per photo taken and remixed from each. I’m coming to love grungy brushes for work like this – so much control and being able to keep various layers of grunge for an image and tweak and blend it into the final image is very rewarding. Some shots taken with a 28-135mm IS lens, and some taken with a Lensbaby 3G.

I find it really interesting that a photo shoot spanning a week and involving 4 separate treks to the overpass could culminate in a single image like this.

Future city” by sparktography

A to Z: it’s Blog-O-Meme time!

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A is for age: 25
B is for beer of choice: Pyramid Ales, Apricot Amber
C is for career right now: Program Manager out at the big borg
D is for your dog’s name?: Skype!
E is for essential item you use everyday: My cameras
F is for favorite food: Steak, steak,steak!
G is for favorite game: Oblivion
H is for Home town: Walla Walla, WA
I is for instruments you play: A loooong time ago I played the flute
J is for favorite juice: Odwalla
K is for whose butt you’d like to kick: George W. Bush’s
L is for last place you ate: Red Robin
M is for marriage: and the horrific legal ramifications it stands for
N is for your full name: Sparky
O is for overnight hospital stays: Several pneumonia related incidents as a child
P is for people you were with today: Brien and a bunch of co-workers
Q is for quote: “Kill all humans” – Bender
R is for Biggest Regret: Not quitting my job at Greythorn years earlier
S is for status: terminally single
T is for favorite TV show at the moment: Battlestar Galactica
U is for underwear you have on: Calvin Kline boxer briefs
V is for vegetable you love: Avacado
W is for worst habit: Smoking more nicotine than I should
X is for x-rays you’ve had: Chest, head, mouth, and chest, chest, chest
Y is for yummy food you ate today: Banzai Burger at Red Robin
Z is for the zodiac sign: Leo

Thanks Phil!

2nd try at the overpass shot

Monday, February 5th, 2007

POTD 02/5/07 - Overpass 2

I decided to go back and take another stab at my previous overpass picture and trekked out with the Lensbaby 3G and tripod again this afternoon after work. I moved down an overpass in an attempt to get rid of the commented on sign out of the way. While I was down there I also took this photo which somehow seemed nicer with some slight toning.

I’m still not 100% happy with the results, but I’m getting closer. I actually liked the light in the previous shot – I think doing this at dusk and in the height of rush hour traffic might give me exactly what I’m looking for. Next time I want to bring some ND filters, and perhaps try to come slightly later to get better light. I may also try the final overpass (Pike Street) from Downtown to Capitol Hill, but I think this is the composition I want – now it’s all about technical details.

Overpass 2” by sparktography


Saturday, February 3rd, 2007


Experimenting with the Lensbabies Creative Aperture kit. Because the Lensbaby 2G and the Lensbaby 3G use removable magnetic aperture kits it’s possible to cut your own. They thoughtfully provided me with a few blanks, along with a heart shaped one and the one I used here cut in the shape of a star. By shaping the aperture you are able to control the shape of out of focus light in your background.

I’m going to be experimenting around with the blanks – so far I’ve thought of cutting one into a cross or an Apple logo, and try cutting multiple openings which together are centered (two circles, or perhaps two squares for extra interest). I’ll post my experimentations as they finish.

Stars” by sparktography

Macro flower work at the conservatory

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Pink and yellow


Yellow and blue

Taken at the Volunteer Park Conservatory with a Lensbaby 3G using the +4 macro adapter. These two came out as my two favorites, but I took a number of other shots.

I’m looking into getting a permit to set get full access to the conservatory after hours including their orchid collection – it’s expensive, but would let me use a tripod and shoot their entire collection.

Pink and yellow” by sparktography
Yellow and blue” by sparktography

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